BANGOR – Folks weren’t quite sure what to expect when they met at the library, but it turned out to be a very productive meeting for people looking to stay informed.
Members of the journalism community met with citizens Tuesday evening at the Bangor Public Library to discuss fake news, and how people get their information.
“The hope is that people understand that there is fake news out there,” said Shane Layman, who helped put on the event, “and reliable news can be found, you just have to know where the right sources are.”
Those in the crowd considered themselves informed, but had some concerns, and said it’s important to them not to get overwhelmed with information.
“It’s really intimidating, and we want to get the best news possible, the most news we can, and be able to filter that out and take care of ourselves and our family,” noted Ann Davis Lanford, who lives in Bangor and participated along with her husband.
The panel attempted to find common ground with those in attendance, and said that citizens should look at stories through the eyes of an editor.
Joyce Murdoch, managing editor of the BDN, added “You have to ask yourself the same questions that us as editors are paid to ask reporters; ‘how do you know that? What’s your source? Do you trust your source?'”
They also spoke about culture, and challenged people to take the emotion out of news.
“Think of the social or political or religious topic that means the most to you, that you hold most dear. Where did you get that idea from? Was it from the news media? Of course not, said Josh Roiland, a journalism professor at UMaine. He added “So this is the key point; news is a part of culture, it’s not the dominating influence on culture. There is so much choice now, and we pick what we want, that you don’t have to worry about fake news, you will disown it.”